The New NIMBYs

Here is how cities work: Seedy neighborhood+Gentrification= Only a faint romantic halo of former seediness, which is used for real estate marketing purposes. Any attempt at neighborhood reversion to pre-gentrification standards will be terminated with extreme affluence.

Like so: A few short decades ago, the area above Tribeca ("Hudson Square," said the realtor) was a fucking dump. Now, it's populated by De Niro and Jay-Z and, you know, a plethora of other rich and famous Manhattanites. The city wants to put a garage for garbage trucks on the far West side of the neighborhood. So a group of concerned average citizens including Roger Sterling from Mad Men and various artists—presumably drawn to the neighborhood for its wonderful halo of long-gone industrial grit—are fighting the plan. For the good of everyone.

"We're no Nimbys," said Jana Haimsohn, a performance artist and neighborhood advocate. "Always in our dealings we look at the needs of the broader community."

Did you know that Louisville, Kentucky, has its very own version of the Meatpacking District, called Butchertown? Same story: former butchering district close to downtown that's now "being spruced up with art galleries and fancy shops," according to the Wall Street Journal. Now the Butchertown Neighborhood Association is working to move the last slaughterhouse out of the neighborhood, "Butchertown," with its wonderful halo of long-gone industrial grit.

"It's been an ongoing nuisance for people in the area," says Jonathan Salomon, a 34-year-old Butchertown resident and attorney representing the group. "We don't want to see anybody, especially during these times, put out on the street. But...we have to look at what kind of economic growth is good for the neighborhood."

Look, we're not against these people having jobs. But let's be honest—this neighborhood is not the place for those kinds of people. We're not against the city parking its garbage trucks somewhere—but they don't really fit in with the character of this neighborhood.

This is for the good of everyone. Reversals of gentrification will not be tolerated.
[Pic via]